Archive for the ‘Design’ Category
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
While online printing services have greatly simplified the process of producing marketing materials, companies still need to take note of important elements to ensure the printability of their design. Ensuring printability allows them to have their materials produced at the soonest time possible, and make the most out of the printing services.
There are three elements that directly affect the printability of a design:
Typography. Proper typography not just ensures readability, but also plays a part in capturing the attention of readers. Readability results from the dynamic interaction of typefaces, size, text alignment, tracking, and other text properties. It’s also always a good idea to keep things simple by avoiding clutter in order to best convey your message.
Color scheme. One of the basic rules of color selection for printed materials is to choose the company colors to provide familiarity to their readers. Another option is to choose colors according to the mood you wish to convey. For example, red is an excellent choice for expressing passion and energy. Regardless of color scheme you have chosen, it is important that colors will blend well together and not strain the eyes once printed.
Layout. The layout will depend on your intended final output. What can be laid out in a flyer may turn out differently when printed on a poster. This is why it’s always best to have a specific layout for each type of printed material. Companies working with online printing services also need to include specifications regarding trim marks, trimmed page size, bleed, and margins to make sure the print comes out as they intended.
Some printers offer the services of professional designers to make sure all the bases are covered. Enlisting a printing company that also offers design services can help companies accurately and quickly bring their visions to life.
Friday, February 4th, 2011
Checking for Errors
One thing so many designers forget is to check work properly before sending it off to the online printer. This includes everything from trifold brochures to full on booklet printing. I always tell my staff to put finished projects to the side and work on something else for a bit before final proofing. It is very easy to miss the forest for the trees as the old saying goes.
An optional method is to have a co-worker look over the project for you. Even if this person is not a designer they may see some detail that was missed. The best possible way for them to view it is to create a full mock-up on oversize paper. Then you trim it down to size, check bleeds, fold as needed and pass it around. This will assist in making sure bleed, folds and margins are correct.
Another forgotten detail is spell check, A rule of thumb to get in to is to always run spell check before you make a PDF or a mock up, you can NEVER spell check too much! It’s much easier to correct the spelling BEFORE your brochure printing is done!
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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Artists and Designers show their digital prowess with Facebook’s new profile page
The French artist Alexandre Oudin (see image) was identified as the creator of the craze. Obviously more have followed in his footsteps, artists and regular folks with an image editing program are all in the mix! Check out these samples below.
I am curious to see how long it will take for someone to create an “app” that does this for you! If you want to see more check out Mashable’s blog entry here.
Facebook has created a little more of a platform for artists to play in with this latest update, keep an eye out for future updates as they occur and drop by our re-vamped website and order some printing for your next design job as well! Online printing, correct and on time!
Friday, September 24th, 2010
A Short Tutorial on Illustrator’s Recolor Artwork Function
Today, a short Illustrator tutorial on the recolor artwork feature. First take an image and run Object Menu > Live trace to convert yout low res image to vector artwork. Next set is to expand your traced file and then go to the Edit Menu > Edit colors > recolor artwork. In the window that pops up go to the color slider at the bottom and change the color you want to base your new art off of, I picked a brown color.
Next click on the pop down menu at the top of the same window and select your “Harmony Rule” I chose “shades” for this example.
The software then applies the new color scheme and shows a list of what original color is converting to what color in the new scheme.
One fun thing to try as seem below is the random color button, it basically takes the colors in your new palette and applies them randomly to the art.
Finally once you have your colors the way you want them click the “OK” button!
add any type or other elements and presto, you have created a nice scaleable vector poster/flyer/art!
Once you finish your artwork and are ready to print it, drop by our online printing site and sign up!
Monday, September 20th, 2010
The Top 100 Web Brand Colors
I enjoy running in to interesting posts on color theory. I found this gem on the top 100 Sites at COLORlovers.com which is a site produced by Darius Monsef. His site consists of a huge variety of palettes created by individuals, blogs, forums, trending and forcasting and about anything you would wish to know about color theory.
This particular graphic he created shows the main colors used in the top 100 sites on the web, no big surprise that the Blue Hues still remain king of the color world, especially when you look at the “psychology” of color.
Studies have shown Blue to represent Trust, Security, Technology, Order and Conservative, no wonder it’s so popular. Red which comes in a close second has been shown to represent Power, Energy, Warmth and Passion. When combining colors you can also combine the “meanings” of the colors but be cautious since as all designers know, not all colors go well together!
Graphic Courtesy of COLORlovers.com - click to enlarge
Want to know more about the psychology of color? I will be posting a resource blog with more information on that later in the week, so check back soon!
Already have your logo finalized and need some printing? Click over to our printing section and check out our current promotional discounts!
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
A short tutorial on the “why” of “Full Justification” versus “Rag Right”
The biggest question you must ask yourself is “form or function?” When setting up text heavy documents, is the look more important that the readability? Is there a best case scenario in this artistic compromise? Quite a few designers LOVE to use full justification when even if the readability suffers greatly. I have a few example screen shots which I will discuss briefly below.
First off, we have a four column layout with text set to full justification. You can clearly see the odd spacing on some lines between words. Some of this can be adjusted to look a little better with tracking and kerning but that can lead to more problems with the first revision. This type of narrow column becomes very hard to read when set to full justification.
Suggest: Wider columns or rag right text
The image below is three columns set to full justification, its better than the 4 column layout as most of the text does not have the large spaces between words that makes it difficult to read, but as you can see where the text wraps around the picture you still get the hard to read spacing.
Suggest: Moving the photo or making text rag right
Below is a better option, although beauty (in typesetting) is in the eye of the beholder, I think a “rag right” setting makes the text much easier to read and maintains an overall better look with narrow columns.
Suggest: Looks pretty good but I would still think about wider columns to add legibility
If you must have “justified text” find a column width that works well with automatic word spacing as seen below, the larger the column the better your text will automatically flow, so make adjustments to your layout as needed to achieve the best look and readability possible.
Suggest: perhaps playing around with different options for image placement, but the text readability and overall look are both good
So many designers today don;t seem to pay attention to the details like typesetting. The usage of Kerning, tracking, leading and all the other options available to todays designers should be used with fervent zest! Once you have your design completed bring it on over to PGprint and see just how economically we can print your new work of art!
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
A Short Tutorial on Building a Trifold Brochure
Good trifold brochure design starts by beginning with a good solid foundation, in this case making sure your margins and folds are set up properly before even beginning the design and layout stage. We supply a wide variety of templates you can use to set up your own collateral material before submitting it for printing. Doing this step first will ensure your job will fly through production without a hitch on the technical side! Aside from that, image resolution and making sure you have bleed will keep you covered! Check out the tutorial below for an overview on the basics of brochure design!
Ready to print you brochure? Check out our Online brochure printing at PGprint!
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
How to Make Grunge Type Effects
Today’s blog is a quickie on how to add grunge effects to type easily. First you will need some grungy images, best place to find these is on the web or take them yourself. Make sure before you use an image from the web that the owner/photographer has released rights for personal/commercial use and reproduction (see blog on copyright!) I found some images at Desizn Tech that are free for personal and commercial use, it is also a good reference site for for web designers, techs and anyone with an interest in design in general, back to the topic at hand…
Once you have an image in hand, make sure it has good contrast in the image for the area you want to pull out for your “grunge”. I adjusted the contrast a little in photoshop in the image I picked (from Desizn Tech) before placing it in Adobe Illustrator. Once in Illustrator I ran live trace and adjusted my options to pull out the dark areas. I set it to blakc and white and then ungrouped and removed the white areas leaving me just the black shown below.
Once I had the grunge for my image (see above) I turned the black to magenta so I could see the type and the image areas and overlap clearly (below).
At this point I selected the type, converted it to outlines, colored the grunge art white again and used the pathfinder divide tool to subtract the grunge from the type I then selected all the white areas using “select same fill color” and deleted the white parts. You can see the remainder (below) with points highlighted.
At this point you are done and have your grunge artwork ready to go, click on the image below to see a more blown up version. You can also have a two-tone look by putting another copy of the type artwork without the grunge effect to fill in the white areas with another color.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and when you are done with that “grunge” poster bring it on over and have us print it for you here at PGprint.com!
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Poster Design using Adobe Photoshop
Poster Design can be the most exciting type of design in a graphic designers arsenal of tools. Posters are also the most fun to produce. A single page, usually large scale, containing all the information necessary to promote, inform, educate and/or entertain the viewer. From gig posters to special event posters you can find a variety of great tutorials online.
The main issue with posters is to make sure they don’t overwhelm the viewer with information. A simple “what, where, when” will usually do. If more than that is needed design an ancillary piece such as a flyer that can be carried away. Put a small copy of the poster on one side and your other information on the other. If your design is strong enough people that may not have been interested in the event may take a flyer to the office or home and hang it on the wall providing you with more free advertising for your event.
Enjoy thes few poster/art tutorials below and search for more for further inspiration!
Once you have your poster designed, come back and see us for top notch quality printing of your Full Color Poster!
Click image for link
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
A Blog to make any Designer Laugh
Trying to come up with something new for you designers out there every week can be challenging with the plethora of sites already spamming the web. Todays post will take you on a different path, the path you need most as a designer when the only response you can get from your client is “I just don’t like it” or “It’s too plain”. So when you have that deadline looming over your head and absolutely no feedback on direction for your design, take a five minute break and browse the “Clients from Hell” Blog for a quick laugh and to realize… It could be worse!
Here is an example, enjoy:
Me: “Okay, so here are some rough concepts I’ve worked up. Once you’ve -“
Client (interrupting): “What the hell am I looking at? These look like scribbles my five-year-old could do.”
Me: “Oh, they’re just roughs to get the concept figured out, once we have that done I’ll begin work on the finished piece.”
Client: “How am I supposed to decide which illustration I like if I can’t see them all finished. Finish them and then I’ll decide which one to use.”
Me: “Well, I can certainly do that, but just so you’re aware, I will have to raise my fees to cover the cost of bringing each of these concepts to a finish.”
Client: “Who do you think you are to make demands?! I’m the client, I get to make the demands! It’s not like this is a real job anyway, all you’re doing is drawing.”
I hope you enjoy the laugh! …and when you finally finish that design from the Client from Hell make sure you bring it back here to us for printing!